Review: Casio Improved their Best 88-Key Keyboard Piano. But is it Enough?
The PX-S1100 is an 88 key digital piano with a fully weighted, graded hammer action and a customizable touch response using 6 velocity curves.
The key surface has a matte finish and is lightly textured.
To keep the weight of this piano down, these keys are less heavy than the competition and if you practice a lot, this helps to reduce finger fatigue tremendously.
There are 18 voices in the Casio PX-S1100, which are the staple of any gig.
Ranging from acoustic to electric pianos, various organs, strings, a vibraphone and an acoustic bass. The voices can be layered as well as split across the keyboard and the volume of each layer can be independently adjusted.
As this is an advanced piano keyboard and therefore string & damper resonance, key & damper noise can be freely configured to get the piano tone to sound exactly the way it pleases your ears. You also get simulations of various hall reverbs such as a British stadium or a Berlin hall, I guess Casio could not use the exact names of the venues in order not to infringe trademarks.
While DSP or digital signal processing is applied to many of the voices, although it would been better if there was a option wish I had the option to either turn off or alter the depth of the DSP effect. At the same time with a 192 note polyphony, there was no encounter of any note dropouts
Music Library and Chordana App
The Casio PX-S1100 also comes with a music library with 60 songs which you can enjoy listening to or you can play along using the lesson mode and the included book with all the printed music.
You can learn the pieces one hand at a time by turning on or off the right or left hand parts. You can also slow down the music to a tempo you can manage.
The free Chordana Play for Piano app allows you to load an unlimited number of MIDI files for you to learn with which is feature found on the PX-S1100.
Built in Features
Like its predecessor, the Casio PX-S1100 comes with 2 headphone jacks facing the player.
There are 2 pedal inputs. One for the included single damper pedal, which is great for gigs and another connector for the triple pedal accessory supporting sostenuto and soft features for advanced pianists.
There is no doubt that the PX-S1100 is a true gigging stage piano with its ¼” stereo outputs coupled with its light 11 kilograms weight.
For those who don’t have access to an electrical outlet, the PX-S1100 can run on six standard AA batteries.
With a pair of 8 watts amplifiers producing a 16 watts output, the volume on the pair of 16cm speakers is adequate for a living room. Even when the volume was pushed to the max, there wasn’t any discernible distortion which is a result of an improvement to the speaker design.
The predecessor had a “Privia” logo located at the rear panel. This has been removed on the PX-S1100 for a cleaner and professional look, making it more suitable for the stage.
The font color of the buttons on the panel is now a more understated silver color rather than the previous cringy bling gold font.
The Bluetooth icon is now a square icon.
The Casio WU-BT10 Wireless Bluetooth adaptor is now included free-of-charge with the PX-S1100 right out of the box.
The string and damper resonance algorithm has been tweaked for an even more natural sound. In addition to MIDI, the new USB port can now support audio recording with a flash drive. The USB port also now supports the new wireless Bluetooth MIDI adaptor. This allows for a wire free connection to Casio’s Chordana app as well as other music learning apps on your smartphones and iPads.
The Electric Piano tone button has also been removed. You now select sounds using a single Grand Piano button on the panel.
With support for Casio’s new wireless Bluetooth adapter, there is no longer a need for a 3.5mm auxiliary audio input jack and this has been removed.
On its predecessor, you cannot turn off stretched tuning. For a few perfect pitch pianists suffering from OCD, who need mathematically correct harmonics, not being able to turn off stretched tuning may be an issue. For the rest of us, we should turn on stretch tuning to take care of the inharmonicity of the strings just like how acoustic pianos are tuned. The structure and materials of the in-built speakers have been improved to provide a better response in the higher and lower frequencies.
One feature I wish Casio had implemented in this update is tone memory. There are quite a number of parameters that can be tweaked to get the sound you want. However without a tone memory feature, you will have to redo all the settings for each sound every time.
I hope that this review of the PX-S1100 has been useful for you. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest updates and prices of the PX-S1100 If this keyboard is not for you, do look at the other articles in this blog to find your ideal instrument. Also, do check out my Piano App and beginner keyboard course available for you.